Poverty and race play into state child welfare system

31 05 2011

By Kyle Kim

Editors note: the story was originally published for the May 10 print issue of The Whitworthian. You can access both the issue and online edition here.

Native American children represent 7 percent of Washington State’s child population and are roughly five times more likely to be victims of abuse or neglect compared to white children, according to data from Child Protective Services. Statewide, Native American children are three times more likely to be referred to child welfare than their white counterparts.

Census figures show the city of Spokane alone holds the eighth-largest Native American population in the nation.

Alaska native Tara Dowd, who grew up in Washington’s child welfare system for most of her early life, said there’s a saying among foster kids: those who make it out call each other alumni.

“An alumni means you’ve earned something,” Dowd said. “I’ve lost more than I’ve gained in the child welfare system.”
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New report on the news biz says journos still don’t get it

10 05 2011

The Columbia Journalism Review released a policy report today titled “The Story So Far: What We Know About the Business of Digital Journalism.” Some tidbits from today’s coverage of the report:

From NY Times on advertising:

If you ever watch somebody reading a copy of Vanity Fair, they spend as much time looking at the ads as they spend looking at the content,” Mr. Grueskin said, “because the ads are actually useful for readers.” (Ads having value on their own, he added, is “something that we as journalists have a hard time getting our heads around.”)

From CJR’s report on paywalls:

So, which approach is best, free or paid? Pay proponents often put it this way: High-quality journalism costs a great deal to produce, so users ought to pay to get it. Pay opponents have a counterargument: Paywalls cut sites off from “the conversation” online and will deprive them of the attention they need from blogs, aggregators and social media.

We prefer to frame it as a business issue—and in that respect, it’s possible that neither side has it exactly right. In fact, pay plans may have little immediate impact on sites that are just getting into the business. The reason is that most companies are likely to have only small streams of online circulation revenue, which could roughly match advertising declines from lower traffic. Digital subscriptions may pay off in the years to come, but only if media companies can persuade consumers using new platforms—like smartphones and tablets—to adopt a pay plan.

From Reuter’s Felix Salmon on rethinking the biz model:

If you’re going to reinvent the business of journalism for the digital era, this is a really fruitful place to start — the idea that although the business and the journalism are always going to be linked, they don’t necessarily need to be linked through the slightly kludgy old-media mechanism of simple adjacency.

Read the full report here.








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